More On Banks Taking Actions In Response To Suspected Or Actual Financial Elder Abuse

David W. Tate, Esq., San Francisco and California –

Below I have provided a link to an ABA Banking Journal article discussing bank efforts to protect order Americans from financial abuse.

In addition to other steps, the article states “When elder fraud is suspected, banks most commonly respond by flagging the account for further monitoring (82%), reporting the incident to adult protective services (81%) and closing existing accounts and opening new ones for the customer (68%).” The article also states that ” . . . an overwhelming majority of banks – 80% – said they place holds on suspicious transactions . . . . ”

The following is a snapshot of a paragraph in the article – discussing that “about half of the banks said they have procedures in place to offer the account-holders the opportunity to consent to have their account information disclosed to a designated financial caregiver.”

I have previously written some of my views about procedures for preventing, stopping, and remedying financial (and physical) elder abuse. Placing a hold on an account is a good temporary step to safeguard and preserve the account. Reporting the incident to adult protective services or another accepted organization is another good step and is required by law in many circumstances (California, for example, has mandated reporting requirements in circumstances that are described in the applicable statutes relating to financial abuse, and also for or relating to physical and other types of abuse – I have written about and presented talks on these topics). Encouraging an account holder to designate a trusted person who the bank can call when the bank sees suspicious activities also is a good step. And, of course, training on these topics should be ongoing.

All of the above actions are good first steps. Then the really hard and time consuming part starts, and it typically must involve good family members and friends as, given the large numbers of financial elder abuse, the banks, adult protective services, the district attorney’s offices, and the police do not have the resources to pursue most situations for the long haul. An elder typically believes that the perpetrator is a good and trustworthy person or business or other entity, and I can tell you that it is amazing how persistent a perpetrator of financial elder abuse can be – in situations where a typical person would willingly exit the situation or agree to restrictions and limitations, and even repayment, it can be amazing for how long a perpetrator of financial elder abuse will persist. And also be mindful that we have only been discussing bank situations and responses, whereas the great majority of financial elder abuse will not be visible to or noticed by a bank.

Below is a link to the complete article:

Survey: Banks Ramp Up Efforts to Protect Older Americans from Financial Abuse

Best to you, Dave Tate, Esq. (San Francisco and California) –


Remember, every case and situation is different. It is important to obtain and evaluate all of the evidence that is available, and to apply that evidence to the applicable standards and laws. You do need to consult with an attorney and other professionals about your particular situation. This post is not a solicitation for legal or other services inside of or outside of California, and, of course, this post only is a summary of information that changes from time to time, and does not apply to any particular situation or to your specific situation. So . . . you cannot rely on this post for your situation or as legal or other professional advice or representation.

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Best to you, David Tate, Esq. (and inactive California CPA) – practicing in California only.

I am also the Chair of the Business Law Section of the Bar Association of San Francisco.


Trust, estate/probate, power of attorney, conservatorship, elder and dependent adult abuse, nursing home and care, disability, discrimination, personal injury, responsibilities and rights, and other related litigation, and contentious administrations

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